Neureos | Karanji (Flaky pastry stuffed with sweet coconut filling)

Goan Neureos are deep-fried, flaky pastry stuffed with coconut & dried fruit filling. They are also known as Karanji in Maharashtra, sweet Somas in Tamil Nadu, Gujiya or Ghughra in North India.  Somas usually also include gram dal, and Gujiyas have mava (milk solids) in the stuffing. Other than tiny variations from region to region in India, they are almost the same. These are made for festivals like Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali & Christmas. The crescent shape is redolent of an empanada. You can pretty much say these are an Indian version of empanadas.


Hi guys! December is officially here!  Just a few days more and we will bid adieu to 2017. December also happens to be my favorite month, and I’m sure is with most of you too. Apart from the aura that surrounds the month of December who else is a fan of all the sweets & food? Indian Christmas sweets are totally different from the one I see here in the US. Here its more of cookies, cakes etc, but back home we have a number of sweets that are dainty, time-consuming and some that actually require the combined efforts of a small community. Not kidding!

Like these Neureos! These are actually a multi-person task. As you really can’t make endless containers of these goodies all by yourself. Of course, if you are adventurous enough, you could take up the challenge !!

I have vivid memories of watching these made. One person would be assigned to make the pastry dough, one made the filling, one did the job of rolling out the dough, one did the stuffing, and shaping and one did all the frying. A team effort !!

I’m so glad that one of the most important sweets of Goan Kuswar (Goan Christmas sweet platter) finally made it to the blog! I actually made these earlier this year, during my Mum in law’s stay. I wanted to learn it first hand rather than instructions over the phone. Neureos were my least liked Christmas sweet. We never made it at home, rather always got some made to order. Like I said, these require a heck of a time, and My parents had a tough work schedule.

But once I happened to taste these at my In-laws place, and I was hooked. I didn’t find it surprising when my DH said that they there were a big fan of these treats and that it would hardly last the Holiday season. In fact, my Mum in law always made extra to make sure everyone at home had more than enough to their heart’s content. These  Neureos are truly addictive and hard to resist. The filling taste so amazing, that you may end up eating spoonfuls of the filling itself before you even begin the process of stuffing the pastry.

Other sweets that often make an appearance in Goan Kuswar are Rich Christmas fruit cake, kulkul, kormolas, jujubes, bebinca, dodol, marzipan, guava cheese, milk cream etc to name a few!

If this is your maiden attempt at making these, I hope this post will help you 🙂 Sharing with you all the tips & tricks to get these babies right!

You may also like other traditional Goan Christmas sweets like-

Step by step instructions

For the stuffing

1.Heat a heavy bottomed skillet / non-stick skillet over medium heat, dry roast semolina until crisp and fragrant. Set aside.

2.In the same skillet, add ghee, once hot enough, add charoli, sauté for 30 seconds or until it turns slightly darker.

3.Next, add poppy seeds, sauté another minute.

4.Add the desiccated coconut, roast until it turns golden brown.

5.Add the roasted semolina, mix everything well, transfer to another bowl and let the mixture cool completely.

6.Once the mixture has cooled, add powdered sugar, raisins and cardamom powder, mix well. The stuffing for the karanji is ready.

For the pastry shell

1.Combine flour, ghee, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix the ghee with the flour.

2.Add water little at a time, knead to form a smooth and firm dough. The dough should not be too soft nor too hard. Cover with a damp napkin and set aside for an hour.

Making the Neureos

1.Transfer the dough to the work surface, divide it into equal portions (about walnut sized portions, around 15).

2.Take one portion, dust it in flour, roll it out very thin, to a diameter of about 4 inches. Dust flour, as needed whilst rolling. Roll out the rest in the same manner.

3.Transfer the rolled dough to the mold, fill a tablespoon of the filling (do not overstuff), apply water all around the edge, close the mold tightly, open it, trim the edges and unmold the Neureo. Prepare the remaining in the same way. Collect all the scraps, form a dough, divide and roll out more dough to make more Neureos (we got 6 extra from the scraps). Dust off excess flour before stuffing them.

4.If you do not have a mold, you can do it the traditional way. Place a tablespoon of the stuffing in the center of the rolled dough, apply water all around the edges, bring one edge and join the other to form a half moon shape. Seal with a fork or keep pinching to form a pleated pattern.

5.Heat oil in a kadai, deep fry the prepared Neureos on medium heat, in batches, flipping in between, until golden. They will continue to cook once you remove them out, so don’t overcook them. Keep the rest of the prepared Neureos covered with a damp kitchen napkin, to prevent the dough from drying out.

6.Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper to drain off excess oil.

7.Once cool completely they crisp up, transfer to an airtight container.

Notes

1.This recipe can easily be multiplied for more yield.

Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml 

Neureos | Karanji (Flaky pastry stuffed with sweet coconut filling)

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 20-21 Neureos/Karanji

Neureos | Karanji (Flaky pastry stuffed with sweet coconut filling)

These Goan Neureos/Karanji are crispy and flaky filled with a delicious and irresistible coconut, semolina and dried fruit stuffing.

Ingredients

    For the stuffing 
  • 1/4 cup fine semolina/rava/sooji
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp charoli (If you can't find it, substitute with any other nut of choice)
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Pinch of cardamom powder
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar, adjust as per desired sweetness
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee
  • For the pastry shell
  • 1 cup unbleached, all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee
  • salt, to taste
  • Water, as required to knead the dough
  • Other ingredients,
  • Oil, as required to deep fry

Instructions

    For the stuffing
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet / non-stick skillet over medium heat, dry roast semolina until crisp and fragrant. Set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add ghee, once hot enough, add charoli, sauté for 30 seconds or until it turns slightly darker.
  3. Next, add poppy seeds, sauté another minute.
  4. Add the desiccated coconut, roast until it turns golden brown.
  5. Add the roasted semolina, mix everything well, transfer to another bowl and let the mixture cool completely.
  6. Once the mixture has cooled, add powdered sugar, raisins and cardamom powder, mix well. The stuffing for the karanji is ready.
  7. For the pastry shell
  8. Combine flour, ghee, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix the ghee with the flour.
  9. Add water little at a time, knead to form a smooth and firm dough. The dough should not be too soft nor too hard. Cover with a damp napkin and set aside for an hour.
  10. To make the Neureos
  11. Transfer the dough to the work surface, divide it into equal portions (about walnut sized portions, around 15). Roll out the rest in the same manner.
  12. Take one portion, dust it in flour, roll it out very thin, to a diameter of about 4 inches. Dust flour, as needed whilst rolling.
  13. Transfer the rolled dough to the mold, fill a tablespoon of the filling (do not overstuff), apply water all around the edge, close the mold tightly, open it, trim the edges and unmold the Neureo. Prepare the remaining in the same way. Collect all the scraps, form a dough, divide and roll out more dough to make more Neureos (we got 6 extra from the scraps). Dust off excess flour before stuffing them.
  14. If you do not have a mold, you can do it the traditional way. Place a tablespoon of the stuffing in the center of the rolled dough, apply water all around the edges, bring one edge and join the other to form a half moon shape. Seal with a fork or keep pinching to form the pleated pattern.
  15. Heat oil in a kadai, deep fry the prepared Neureos on medium heat, in batches, flipping in between, until golden. They will continue to cook once you remove them out, so don't overcook them. Keep the rest of the prepared Neureos covered with a damp kitchen napkin, to prevent the dough from drying out.
  16. Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper to drain off excess oil.
  17. Once cool completely they crisp up, transfer to an airtight container.

Notes

1. This recipe can easily be multiplied for more yield.

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See you soon with another Christmas treat.

Regards,

Freda

 

29 comments

  1. Smiling Notes says:

    We make karanjis similar to this back home. I made them for the first time last year and you’re right – this does take a lot of effort and is time consuming! But it’s worth all it since they taste so delicious 🙂

  2. Ritu Tangri says:

    This is one of the most sought after dish in my family and I usually make it during holi and Diwali with a little variation. Now I have come to know about another wonderful name of gujiya. Your perfectly made neureos are making me drool already

    • Freda Dias says:

      Thanks, Uma! I intend baking these next time. It would be okay for a small batch like this, but when these are needed on a large scale, it would really not be feasible. It would probably take forever.

  3. mayurisjikoni says:

    I sure would like to try this version of gujiyas… we usually make with semolina and nuts during Diwali. I like your tip of applying water at the edges so that the gujiyas don’t open up while frying them. Or better still I should get the mould.

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